AIR FORCE VETERAN ELECTED TO LEAD AMERICA’S LARGEST COMBAT VETERANS ORGANIZATION
New VFW National Commander Vows to Defend Freedom’s Defenders
July 24, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 24, 2014) — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States concluded its 115th national convention yesterday with the election of the new VFW National Commander, John W. Stroud.
Stroud served in the U.S. Air Force from 1976-1997, including a tour in Korea in 1992-1993 with the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base as a Flight Operations Superintendent. His decorations include four Meritorious Service Medals, three Air Force Commendation Medals, three Air Force Achievement Medals, the Korea Defense Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.
He is a resident of Hawthorne, Nev., and a Gold Legacy Life Member of Post 2313, and has served the VFW in a number of leadership positions including Nevada Department Commander and Chairman of the National Veterans Service Committee.
During his acceptance speech, Stroud addressed the recent VA crisis stating, “the VA is a health care system worth saving that right now must identify and fix what’s broken … that needs to hold people appropriately accountable to the fullest extent of the law … and a system that must restore the faith of veterans in their VA. He added that he is confident Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson and nominee Bob McDonald—if confirmed—will not make the same mistake as the previous VA Secretary who simply trusted his employees to the point of his demise.
Stroud recounted his first experience with the VFW, stopping in Post 10047 in Las Vegas, Nev., after seeing a sign that read ‘Active Duty Military Welcome.’ Dressed in fatigues, he entered the Post and was immediately welcomed. Surrounded by his comrades, he learned of the organization’s many programs and services, and he knew he wanted in.
“Comrades, I share my story to encourage you to tell your own stories to others. A great part of the VFW story involves the relevance between different generations, and the ability to educate others about who we are, what we do, and who we do it for,” he said.
Stroud had high praise for members’ work and VFW programs, citing several outstanding instances of disaster relief, troop support and veterans resource efforts. He commended those who worked with the U.S. European Command to operate a Visitor’s Center for hundreds of American D-Day veterans and thousands of visitors who were in Normandy for the 70th anniversary of the landing, and praised the Ladies Auxiliary for its donations to cancer research which now total $30 million.
“One of the best things about being a National Officer is I get to brag about the VFW wherever I go … to the troops, to veterans, their families, nonveterans and politicians, too,” he said.
Stroud stressed the importance of reaching out to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and educating them on what the VFW is all about. The camaraderie the VFW offers, as well as its services help ease their transition to civilian life. Further, the VFW fights to ensure Congress and the Administration keep America’s promise to care for them, long after their successful transition.
“To this very day they don’t know that it was the VFW who led the charge to create a new GI Bill … a Family Caregiver Act … Traumatic Injury Insurance … a bullet-proof Stolen Valor Act … concurrent receipt … a lower Guard and Reserve retirement age … and advance appropriations for VA health care,” he explained.
The VFW Action Corps is the VFW’s national grassroots advocacy network comprised of more than 25,000 VFW members and patriotic supporters of veterans. Members of the VFW Action Corps stay up-to-date on the issues facing our veterans, our military and their families, standing ready to email, write, call and visit our nation’s lawmakers to make their voices heard.
The VFW Action Corps is free and open to all patriotic Americans who care about the military and veterans’ communities.
VFW Action Corps members receive:
- The VFW Action Corps Weekly, an easy-to-read electronic newsletter that highlights the VFW’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.
- Immediate access to a nationwide database of contact information for all elected officials, a congressional directory.
- Regular VFW “Action Alerts” telling them how they can get involved when our nation’s veterans, service members, and their families need their voices heard on Capitol Hill.
The VFW Action Corps is what gives the VFW its strength in advocating for our nation’s heroes. Working hand-in-hand with the VFW’s National Legislative Service — whose office is in eye-shot of the Capitol dome in Washington — members of the VFW Action Corps are armed with all of the tools and information they need to help the VFW in its mission to support our nation’s veterans. So join the VFW Action Corps today and add your voice to the thousands of veterans’ advocates making a difference every day, and if you’re already a member of the VFW Action Corps, encourage your ds and neighbors to join the effort!
CURRENT ISSUE OF THE ACTION CORPS WEEKLY: Read the current issue.